Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018!

Source: Veeam

As we close out 2017, one of the things my team and I enjoy most are to open nominations for the Veeam Vanguard Program. The Vanguard program is Veeam’s influencer program that gathers individuals who, above all, just get what we do. We have Vanguards from all over the world from different technical backgrounds, and you can be the next one.

Veeam Vanguard Program

The 2018 program will grow the number of Vanguards by location, by areas of expertise and by how individuals interact. I like to explain the Vanguard program as an opportunity, an opportunity to have access to my team, product betas, briefings and many other benefits that are central to the program. Also, central to the Vanguard program is the annual Vanguard Experience. This year, it was a trip to VeeamON in New Orleans, last year a Vanguard symposium in London and more surprises are in store for 2018.

Veeam Vanguard Program

Nominate yourself or someone you know for the Veeam Vanguard award. Please note, nominations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 29. Here are a few comments from existing Vanguards:

“Having been part of an amazing community program with Microsoft for the past eight years, the “MVP Program,” I can say that the Veeam Vanguard program is undoubtedly my favorite that I am a part of. I have the luxury of being able to compare programs from other vendors, and Veeam just did it right. They have kept the group small and focused and give us the direction and interaction with the product teams that we need.   Unlike other programs, the Vanguards have a “voice” within Veeam and they listen keenly to our constructive feedback. The program, benefit, and such are just a small part of this award. The single best part for me has been meeting all of the other like-minded community influences that love backup technologies from around the world.   With all due respect to the other technical communities out there, Veeam is #1 in my books.” Dave Kawula, Canada.

“The Veeam Vanguard program is the influencer program that all the rest should look up to. Its team-like approach to membership selection has led to a group that truly works together to not only improve our own careers but the products Veeam offers as well without emphasizing the marketing aspect.” @K00lAidIT on Twitter.

“The Veeam Vanguard program — being the first influencer program I have the pleasure of being part of — I was not sure what to expect. What I have found are people both at Veeam and fellow Vanguards who go out of their way to help each other out. It’s not just about the product, it’s about sharing ideas and real-world experience. Feeling like we can help shape Veeam’s future product lines is a great privilege. I now consider many people involved in this program as my friends. If a bar was to be set for advocacy / influencer programs, this bar was set very high.” Ian Sanderson, UK.

“Although classified as an influencer program, the Veeam Vanguard program is so much more than that. Yes, there are perks, but the value comes from the people. The folks who make up the Vanguards are there for a reason — they always bring their A game. These are some of the smartest folks in the industry, who are always willing to lend a helping hand. In return, the Veeam Team offers unparalleled insight and openness into their technologies and roadmaps and routinely seeks feedback, good and bad. This is one of the few groups I have been a part of that has not only forced me, but encouraged me to up my personal game.” Matt Crape, Canada.

“Being a Veeam Vanguard, besides the personal recognition, is like having a really smart, diverse and experienced group of colleagues by your side while you go about your job. The collective experience and knowledge of the group is impressive, and, most importantly, they share that in various ways with the community.” Didier Von Hoye, Belgium

The Vanguard Program is also a global, multi-language program. Here is one comment from Jorge de la Cruz:

“El programa de Comunidad de Veeam llamado Veeam Vanguards es uno de esos pocos grupos que todos conocen el nombre de todos los demás, donde además se hace un esfuerzo tremendo por el fabricante por reunirnos un par de veces al año, sin importar la ubicación, y donde además se tiene acceso a diferentes departamentos de la empresa como son Product, Product Strategy e incluso Marketing. Ser Veeam Vanguard es un honor, que además se acompaña con betas y previews antes de salir al mercado, relaciones sanas entre los participantes, y mucho intercambio de información entre los agraciados.”

It’s natural to have a few questions on this type of program, so I’ve created a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Who can apply to be a Vanguard? Anyone active in a technology community.

Can Veeam employees be awarded Vanguard status? No, but employees can nominate persons for consideration.

What criteria are needed to be awarded Vanguard status? The criteria are decided by our team that looks across communities to find the persons who embody our brand the best.

How will nominees be notified of the result? The Product Strategy team (my staff and I) are going to review the nominations after the registration closes, and then we will deliberate the results. Look for communication either way after that.

I encourage you to apply using this link. If you see a Vanguard in the wild, let us know!

The post Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2018!

File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication

Source: Veeam

A few years ago, the file exclusion engine was introduced to Veeam Backup & Replication. This was primarily meant to handle situations such as a large set file data that you didn’t need in an image-based backup. One example I had users liked was a SQL Server (especially before Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server) that had SQL Server DBAs performing SQL Server Agent jobs or SQL Server Maintenance Plans to export flat backups on disk and transaction log exports.

With the file exclusion, Veeam could optionally take the image-based backup of the VM running SQL Server and exclude the disk geometry that stored the files specified in the backup job. This is an extension of the same logic used in the backup job to exclude the swap file.

The other half of this capability is the file inclusion. This becomes very interesting as it can be very useful for giving parts of a VM the opportunity to have additional RPOs in addition to that of a regular Veeam backup job that takes the whole image. The figure below shows where you can set a file inclusion:

File inclusions and exclusions

This may seem like a small capability, but when you think about the logic for including files only, it can be very flexible. With this configuration in a backup job, a few things need to be considered:

  • The backup format is still a VBK
  • Virtual machine metadata (VM name, host, cluster, network, etc.) are saved — but they can’t be used as you only have the files of a folder selected with the inclusion
  • You can have an additional backup (possibly with a less frequent RPO) for the VM for the entire image
  • You can do a backup copy job of this restore point
  • This backup will be smaller than the image-based backup and has storage efficiencies of the source file data

When talking to customers and partners, this capability has been very useful as an extra backup job to give “that one folder” (that is very important) a bit more Availability than what the regular backup job may bring. It is important to additionally note that at VeeamON we announced NAS backup support for Veeam Backup & Replication v10. This will be an option as well, but if the system is a virtual machine and the requirement for a file backup logic is very specific to include all files in a folder, this logic may be better. The NAS backup logic coming in v10 will be based on revisions of a file at the time of the backup job. The retention is also based on the number of revisions where the file inclusion job is based on a restore point (always) for all files selected in the backup job.

An additional angle here is an extra layer of ransomware resiliency. By having the file inclusions in a separate backup job, this may be more resilient in a situation where you restore a file server from an image-based backup only to have the ransomware re-infect the restored data. This is the perfect time to remind everyone about SureBackup (which by the way is 7 years old in 2017!).

Do you have a use case where you have an image-based backup and a separate backup job just for some particular files? The file inclusions and exclusions may be something to consider. Share your ideas below.

The post File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

File inclusions and exclusions explained with Veeam Backup & Replication

Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start

Source: Veeam

Fighting ransomware has become a part of doing business today. Technology professionals around the world are advocating many ways to stay resilient. The most effective method is to have end-user training on how to handle and operate attachments and connectivity to the Internet. One other area to look is frequent endpoint devices: Laptops and PCs.

Veeam has taken ransomware resiliency seriously for a while. We’ve put out a number of posts such as early tips for some of the first attacks and some practical tips when using Veeam Backup & Replication. Now with Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE available as well as Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows (coming VERY soon) as options for laptops and PCs, it’s time to take ransomware resiliency seriously on these devices.

Before I go too far, it’s important to note that ransomware can exist on both Windows and Linux systems. Additionally, ransomware is not just a PC problem (see recent survey blogpost), as at Veeam we see it nearly every day in technical support for virtual machines. We’ll see more content coming for the virtual machine side of the approach for most resiliency, in this post I’ll focus on PCs and Laptops.

Veeam Agent for Linux is the newest product in which Veeam has offered image-based Availability for non-virtualized systems. Veeam Agent for Linux is a great way to do backups of many different Linux systems with a very intuitive user interface:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

For ransomware resiliency for Veeam Agent for Linux, putting backups on a different file system will be very easy to do with the seamless integration with Veeam Availability Suite. In this way, backups of Veeam Agent for Linux systems can be placed in Veeam Backup & Replication repositories. They also can be used in the Backup Copy Job function. This way, the Linux backups can be placed on different file systems to avoid propagation of ransomware across the source Linux system and the backups. The Backup Copy Job of Veeam Agent for Linux is shown below writing Linux backups to a Windows Server 2016 ReFS backup repository:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

Now, let’s talk about Microsoft operating systems and resiliency against ransomware when it comes to backups. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will soon be renamed to Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. Let’s explain this changing situation here briefly. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE was announced at VeeamON in 2014 and since it has been available, it has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. From the start, it has always provided backup Availability for desktop and server-class Windows operating systems. However, it didn’t have the application-aware image processing support and technical support service. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows will introduce these key capabilities as well as many more.

For Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, you also can put backups on several different storage options. Everything from NAS systems to removable storage, a Linux path, tape media, a deduplication appliance when integrated with Veeam Availability Suite and more. The removable storage is of interest as it may be the only realistic option for many PC or laptop systems. A while ago, Veeam implemented a feature to eject removable media at the completion of a backup job. This option is available in the scheduling option and when the backup target is a removable media and is shown below:

Ransomware resiliency & Availability

This simple option can indeed make a big difference. We even had a user share a situation where ransomware encrypted one’s backups. This underscores a need for completely offline backups or otherwise some form of an “air gap” between backup data and production systems. Thus, behave as if when you have ransomware in your organization the only real solution is to restore from backup after it is contained. There is a whole practice of inbound detection and prevention but if it gets in, backup is your only option. Having media eject offline is another mechanism that even with isolated PCs and laptops can have more Availability by having the backup storage offline.

Availability in the ransomware era is a never-ending practice of diligence and configuration review. Additionally, the arsenal of threats will always become more sophisticated to meet our new defenses. What tips do you have for ransomware resiliency on PCs and laptops? Share your tips below!

The post Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start

AWS: 24.7.365 service Availability with Veeam

Source: Veeam

We’re only a few weeks into 2017, and there have already been a number of high-profile service disruptions that have hit the headlines. It’s pretty clear: Nobody wants to be the next outage to make front-page news. Additionally, in today’s hybrid cloud and advanced application architectures, leveraging cloud services can be part of the offering. What about an outage in the cloud? What about a service not being available? There still needs to be an Availability experience.

We take Availability seriously at Veeam. One example is our upcoming Veeam Availability Orchestrator, which is a great way to give an Availability experience to your on-premises data centers. Over 230,000 customers worldwide are achieving better Availability with Veeam Availability Suite for backup and replication functions. But for the public cloud, what about achieving Availability there?


That’s one of the fundamental principles of Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud. For workloads running in the public cloud, both the Veeam Agent for Linux (which is currently available) and Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows (currently in beta) have been built to give Availability in the public cloud. This is where capabilities such as being able to restore in a different cloud or service area on premises become critical to maintaining Availability to meet expectations today. When it comes to dealing with an outage in the public cloud, what are enterprises to do?

Like any new technology (even though the public cloud isn’t so new anymore), there needs to be simple review: Does your mission-critical IT service rely on some component? If so, what do you need to do to keep it available? Does this mean you need to have an instance of the data? Does this mean you may need to migrate it to another service (such as a different service area within the cloud)? If some or all of these questions have a yes answer, then you need Availability in the public cloud.

At Veeam we realize this need for Availability in the public cloud. With the Veeam Agents, Veeam Availability Orchestrator and some key technologies coming at VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans: You can have the Availability experience you need. See you at VeeamON.

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AWS: 24.7.365 service Availability with Veeam

7 Practical tips to prevent ransomware attacks on backup storage

Source: Veeam

The ransomware threat is real and it’s much more than just a PC problem. Here at Veeam, we see customers and partners encounter ransomware in a number of situations including the data center. One important part of being resilient to ransomware is being able to recover from backups. That’s the Availability you want when things don’t go as planned, should ransomware become an issue in your data center. Here are a number of tips I’ve prepared to incorporate into your designs, both new designs and existing designs using Veeam. Not using Veeam yet? No worries, you can take this advice and implement it accordingly.

Additionally, it’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to protect your backup infrastructure from ransomware. The goal here is to provide options which you can implement as you see fit.

1. Use different credentials for backup storage

This is a generic best practice and in the ransomware era it’s more important than ever. The username context that is used to access the backup storage should be very closely kept and used exclusively for that purpose. Additionally, other security contexts shouldn’t be able to access the backup storage other than the account(s) needed for the actual backup operations. Whatever you do, please don’t use DOMAINAdministrator for everything!

Some designs have the Veeam infrastructure not joined to the domain (for smaller environments) and for larger environments joined to a domain dedicated for tools like backup. The takeaway here is to consider authentication in the design and implement as much separation as possible from production workloads.

2. Have offline storage as part of the Availability strategy

One of the best defenses against propagation of ransomware encryption to the backup storage is to have offline storage. There are a number of offline (and semi-offline) storage options for Veeam, explained below:

Media Characteristic
Tape Completely offline when not being written or read from.
Replicated VMs Powered off and in most situations can be a different authentication framework (for example, vSphere and Hyper-V hosts are on a different domain).
Storage snapshots of primary storage Can be used as recovery techniques and usually have a different authentication framework.
Cloud Connect backups It’s not connected directly to the backup infrastructure and uses a different authentication mechanism.
Rotating hard drives (rotating media) Offline when not being written to or read from.

3. Leverage different file systems for backup storage

Having different protocols involved can be another way to prevent ransomware propagation. I have long advised Veeam customers to put some backups on storage that uses different authentication. The best examples here are backups of critical things like a domain controller. In the unlikely event that a domain controller would need to be fully restored, there can be an issue if the storage containing the backups is an Active Directory authenticated storage resource.

The good example here is a Linux system functioning as a repository. This authentication for Veeam backups and restores can be made over Linux authentication and by using a different file system (ext3, ext4, etc.) the propagation risk of ransomware is reduced. Ransomware does exist on other operating systems, to be clear. This additional step however can be a protection for the backup storage between operating systems.
Here are a few examples of backup storage using different file systems (and different authentication):

These types will use a different security context for access by the Veeam processes, they are shown in the user interface as shown below:

Veeam backup repository

4. Take storage snapshots on backup storage if possible

Storage snapshots were mentioned above as what I call a “semi-offline” technique for primary storage, but if the storage device holding backups supports this capability it may be worth leveraging to prevent ransomware attacks.

5. Start using the 3-2-1-1 Rule

We at Veeam have been promoting the 3-2-1 rule a lot. No really, I mean a lot. The 3-2-1 rule states to have three different copies of your media, on two different media, one of which is off-site. This is great because it can address nearly any failure scenario and doesn’t require any specific technology. In the ransomware era, it’s a good idea to add another “1” to the rule where one of the media is offline. The offline storage options listed above highlighted a number of options where you can implement an offline or semi-offline copy of the data.

You may not need to completely reconfigure an installation to implement an offline element. However, consider these options as additional steps to existing designs.

6. Have visibility into suspicious behavior

One of the biggest fears of ransomware is that it may propagate to other systems. Having visibility into potential ransomware activity is a big deal. In Veeam ONE 9.5, there is a new pre-defined alarm called “Possible ransomware activity.” This alarm will trigger if there are a lot of writes on disk and high CPU utilization.

Possible ransomware activity alarm

7. Let the Backup Copy Job do the work for you

The Backup Copy Job is a great mechanism to have restore points created on different storage and with different retention rules than the regular backup job. When the previous points above are incorporated, the backup copy job can be a valuable mechanism in a ransomware situation because there are different restore points in use with the Backup Copy Job.

The Backup Copy Job can read backups already on a repository and create restore points on new storage that is a different type. So if you took one option above of adding an extra storage device to your infrastructure that was a Linux server for example, you’d add that Linux server to your Veeam Backup & Replication console, define a repository on its file system, then create a Backup Copy Job.

Design for resiliency and plan for vigilance

There many ways to prevent ransomware from encrypting your backups as well and hopefully one or more of these tips listed above can be leveraged in your environment. Do you have some design tips to keep your backup infrastructure resilient? Share your tips below!

See also:

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7 Practical tips to prevent ransomware attacks on backup storage

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2017!

Source: Veeam

We are now going into the third year of the Veeam Vanguard program. Veeam Vanguards are people who embrace Veeam the best in their respective communities. They come from all backgrounds and are spread across different products. Partners, customers, influencers and others are represented here. Now, we’re pleased to announce that the third round of Vanguard nominations are open for 2017 recipients.

Veeam Vanguard Vanguards receive a number of exclusive program benefits — honestly, too many to list — but among these extensive benefits are a private forum site, elevated access to Veeam Product Management, and private webinars and briefings. We’re continually adapting the program based on feedback from the Vanguards, as well as catering program benefits to innovate the program for this elite group. Additionally, we are planning a great experience for Vanguards at VeeamON 2017, so this will be a great year to participate.

Nominate yourself or someone you know for the Veeam Vanguard award here:  Please note, nominations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 9, 2016.

When you register yourself or someone else, be prepared to provide the complete story of the nominee’s community engagement to give us the most accurate picture of his/her activity and insight. In other words, overload us with data!

The 2017 nominations will allow a bit of growth to the program, and I encourage you to apply to be part of the process. We are especially welcoming persons who specialize in some of the newer products to apply.

It’s natural to have a few questions on this type of program, so I’ve created a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Who can apply to be a Vanguard? Anyone active in a technology community.

Can Veeam employees be awarded Vanguard status? No, but employees can nominate persons for consideration.

What criteria are needed to be awarded Vanguard status? The criteria are decided by our team that looks across communities to find the persons who embody our brand the best.

How will nominees be notified of the result? The Technical Product Marketing team (my staff and I) are going to review the nominations after the registration closes, and then we will deliberate the results. Look for communication either way after that.

I encourage you to apply using the link above. If you see a Vanguard in the wild, let us know!

The post Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2017! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now open for 2017!

Cisco UCS S-Series with Veeam: The Availability experience you need!

Source: Veeam

Veeam and Cisco have been working on a number of solutions over the years, and the latest is the new Cisco UCS S-Series storage server. In just a few short years, Cisco’s UCS platform has become the leader in converged infrastructures for high performance and agile data centers. Additionally, many customers and partners around the world have also found Cisco’s storage servers to be an ideal platform to build data protection and Availability solutions with Veeam. What is this Availability solution? It is an additional use case that keeps applications and data available. This is done by leveraging a server supporting the Veeam management and data movement between the primary storage and backup repository, as well as being the data repository for backups and replicated VMs. The latest news is great for those interested in fast data and application recovery with easy provisioning and scalable growth.

Frequently, organizations struggle with decisions around deduplication appliances and tape devices. Both of these venerable solutions in the data center have some characteristics that may not be as desired. For example, deduplication systems may not be as fast (especially on restores) and everyone has a story of how tape has let them down. What if I told you that the Cisco UCS S-Series can solve both your long-term retention and storage efficiency needs?

Deciding what is the best platform for all situations is a difficult recommendation to make, but one thing is for sure: Organizations of all sizes want the best performance and reliability for their data protection and Availability infrastructure. This is where the Cisco UCS S-Series and Veeam deliver.

The Cisco UCS S-Series has been available as a Veeam appliance for a while now (when it was known as the Cisco UCS C3x60 Rack Server), which can be purchased through distribution. This is a great technology combination to get a high-performing storage server that functions as a Veeam repository.

From a capacity perspective, the Cisco UCS S-Series servers offer an incredible and scalable approach to storage server resources. Current models can offer up to 600 TB of raw storage capacity that scales to petabytes easily with Cisco UCS Manager. The scaling and management is a significant point; raw compute and storage infrastructure is good, but having a framework that can reduce management and operational overhead through automation is what organizations want today to be agile.

From a performance perspective, the Cisco UCS S-Series offers incredible performance with the Fabric Interconnects for throughput up to 40 Gbps. This is very critical when it comes to the data flow of backup and data protection environments. Much of the traffic is at the infrastructure level, from the storage itself, and the Fabric Interconnect is a great mechanism to ensure the best performance. Additional features such as Veeam Backup I/O Control can help ensure the performance of any primary storage resources (in regards to latency) as well.

From a long-term retention perspective, the Cisco UCS S-Series gives you both performance and storage efficiency options. The high capacity and performance are a great way to store Veeam backup data long term. Couple Veeam’s new capabilities with Windows Server 2016 and the Advanced ReFS Integration — and the ability to create synthetic full backups with near instant speed — and you get a serious contender to replace tape with backups on disk with Cisco UCS S-Series servers. It is worth highlighting that the ReFS BlockClone API is used to get this performance benefit, but it also introduces storage efficiency. This means that Veeam and Cisco UCS S-Series customers will enjoy even shorter backup windows and lower backup storage loads. This reduced backup storage capacity consumption rivals that of a deduplication appliance without having to pay the recovery time penalty for rehydrating deduped data. Multiple use cases and design options are described in the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) such as the one below.

Cisco UCS S Series with Veeam

Cisco S-Series with Veeam Availability Suite

Cisco and Veeam have been a long-standing team that provides the Availability experience organizations want today. Do the capacity, performance, manageability and connectivity characteristics of the Cisco UCS S-Series servers appeal to you? They should! What do you want out of a server-based backup storage system? Share your comments in this blog.

The post Cisco UCS S-Series with Veeam: The Availability experience you need! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Cisco UCS S-Series with Veeam: The Availability experience you need!

BaaS, DRaaS or Both? Plenty of cloud Availability options with Veeam!

Source: Veeam

One of the common things that happen in my group of evangelists is helping organizations of all sizes take an Availability strategy to the cloud. When it comes to the cloud, Veeam has a lot of options and has had so for a number of years.

I frequently go back to one question: “What are you wanting to accomplish with a cloud or service provider technology?” This is where the answers get interesting. I’ve heard everything from: “I’m out of space in my data center,” “I want cheap storage,” “I have a credit to use in Azure,” “I want complete disaster recovery,” “I want to get data off-site but don’t have a second site myself,” and more. One of the great flexible aspects of cloud and service provider technologies is that they are not a singular use case; there is a technology available for nearly any requirement.

In regards to how specifically Veeam can help, there are two frequent approaches where many of my discussions end up. They usually revolve around recommendations around having Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Let’s look at these a little more closely.

BaaS: Cloud Backup with Veeam

The BaaS approach is where backup storage is off-site, and with Veeam, this is most commonly done through Veeam Cloud Connect. Veeam Cloud Connect can be used for Cloud Backup very easily and has been in place since Veeam Availability Suite v8. This is how Cloud Backup is done with Veeam for BaaS:

BaaS, DRaaS or Both?

The important thing to note is that in this example, the Cloud Repository is part of the on-premises Veeam Availability Suite infrastructure in regards to the targets of things like Backup Copy Jobs and Backup Jobs. This means you can take a backup on-premises, then make additional copies of that backup in the Cloud Repository with a Backup Copy Job so you can easily have your data off-site. The intelligent difference here from many other solutions on the market is that compute and storage are working together so that you have a very advance data transfer for unique blocks only and any transformations of synthetic full backups (including those for weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual retention) are done locally in the Cloud Repository. These compute and storage resources are provided by a Service Provider.

One of the most attractive parts of Cloud Backup with Veeam Cloud Connect is that adding or even finding a Service Provider is very easy to do. It is built right into the user interface of Veeam Backup & Replication. The figure bellow shows where you can add a Service Provider:

BaaS, DRaaS or Both?

Once a Service Provider is added, that Cloud Repository will show up alongside the other storage resources you have on-premises. Frequently, I explain it as Cloud Connect will extend your Veeam installation and therefore your backup infrastructure to a Service Provider seamlessly. You’ll have your Cloud Repository right alongside your storage resources on-premises as shown in the figure below:

BaaS, DRaaS or Both?

DRaaS: Disaster Recovery with Veeam

The other side of the discussion is around having workloads ready to run off-site, and DRaaS with Veeam came in Veeam Availability Suite v9. Organizations of all sizes are really attracted to a DRaaS arrangement because:

  • There isn’t a need to make a second site for DR (facilities perspective)
  • Companies won’t have to make or purchase the virtual infrastructure for DR off-site
  • The ability to run VMs off-site is a very powerful recovery option
  • There is a partial failover capability which is very attractive when only parts of an environment incur an outage

Cloud-based Disaster Recovery with Veeam is a very attractive way to achieve DRaaS. The key concept is a Cloud Host. It’s effectively a generic VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V set of compute and storage resources ready to receive your replicated workloads. So you can take backups on-premises and then create replicas off-site in the service provider infrastructure. Cloud Connect Replication is shown below:

BaaS, DRaaS or Both?

Much like the previous example, the Service Provider offering Cloud Connect will provide abstracted resources that allow Veeam to replicate to. This target for the replicated virtual machine is a great way to have complete off-site Availability to run the workloads when needed. The figure below shows two Service Provider accounts as “VMware Cloud Hosts” in the Backup Infrastructure section of the Veeam Backup & Replication user interface:

BaaS, DRaaS or Both?

Additional Options with Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise

Larger organizations, especially those with a large number of remote or branch offices, may like the transport mechanism of Veeam Cloud Connect yet not want to go down the Service Provider route. Earlier this year, Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise became an option for this use case. This allows backups and replicas to be moved to a private cloud or to a public cloud such as Azure without the use of a Service Provider.

Which is Better: DRaaS or BaaS?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leveraging the cloud to get the best levels of Availability. Because of this, we end back at the question where we started: “What are you wanting to accomplish with a cloud or Service Provider technology?” From here, we can identify options where Veeam-powered cloud solutions can give you the best options. Whether you are looking to get the off-site element of the 3-2-1 Rule in place or a more complete business continuity and disaster recovery offering, Veeam has cloud options to give you the Availability experience you are searching for.

Additional resources:

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BaaS, DRaaS or Both? Plenty of cloud Availability options with Veeam!

The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam

Source: Veeam

When it comes to ensuring the Availability of SAP environments, enterprises need to ensure their expectations are met. Recently, I collaborated with a few of my peers and experts in the industry to provide detailed, technical information on ensuring the Availability of SAP environments with Veeam. If you have SAP, it’s an important part of your business, and ensuring its Availability goes without saying.

There are a number of key points covered in the mentioned paper, so I encourage you to have a look. Note that there are a few things to consider with SAP environments; mainly the SAP-specific tools (BRTools) such as BRRestore, BRBackup and BRArchive. The Veeam SAP whitepaper has a number of scripts you can use with BRBackup so you can provide additional application Availability. Many SAP environments that use Veeam may have a data flow much like the image below:

Availability of SAP environments with Veeam

The BRTools provide a good data flow for application-specific data (from the database), but there are a number of extra considerations. For example, there are questions about the need for an image-based backup of the SAP environment, and many organizations have struggled with the decision to virtualize SAP.

The Veeam SAP whitepaper is an outstanding read to explore some additional capabilities that you may not even know you had when it comes to using Veeam Availability Suite for SAP environments. Simply virtualizing SAP is a difficult enough decision, however, by doing so there are some very compelling Veeam-specific capabilities that many organizations would indeed benefit greatly from.

The first example is leveraging the Veeam On-Demand Sandbox for SAP environments. This is particularly important when it comes to testing critical updates to SAP environments and any downstream systems that may have special communication or custom applications that critically depend on SAP. Take into consideration that Veeam now has three different ways in which you can run the On-Demand Sandbox: from a backup file, from a replicated VMware VM and from a storage snapshot of a supported array for Veeam storage integration. The other half of this technology is the ability to verify that image-based backups of the SAP system are indeed recoverable. Note that the paper also shows how to leverage scripts in the SureBackup area of Veeam Backup & Replication.

The ability to leverage the data of an SAP environment in a risk-free situation (the virtual lab) is an incredible capability many enterprises simply do not have. This can save wasted time on change control situations that are backed out or not properly tested ahead of time.

Also consider the Instant VM Recovery capability for SAP environments. This technology provides an outstanding, high-speed recovery technique should an SAP environment have a failure that requires a complete restore.

In addition to the entire system options above, the Veeam SAP paper talks at length about a number of Oracle database situations, as well as provide example walkthrough situations of restoring SAP databases with Veeam Explorer for Oracle. This is in addition to the walkthrough provided using BRRestore from the BRTools kit. If you are using HANA or SQL Server, there is further content for these databases as well in the Veeam SAP paper.

When it comes to Availability for SAP environments, it’s critical to have the best tools at your arsenal to avoid outages, ensure workloads are running as expected and have rich options when things don’t go as planned. Download the Veeam SAP whitepaper to learn more.

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The post The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

The right way to ensure the Availability of SAP environments starts with Veeam

Advanced ReFS integration coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Source: Veeam

In my last post, I outlined a number of new enterprise scalability features: Backup acceleration technologies, full VM restore acceleration technologies and core engine enhancements. Part of the announcement for 9.5 was about the new advanced ReFS integration, which I’ll cover in this post as it is a significant technology for Veeam. Let’s dig in!

Advanced ReFS integration

The final 9.5 feature I will cover today is arguably the most amazing feature of 9.5: Advanced ReFS integration. Resilient File System (ReFS) is a new file system of Windows Server operating systems, and the Windows Server 2016 version brings new capabilities that Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 leverages in order to provide some truly incredible benefits.

The advanced ReFS integration supports ReFS volumes on internal, direct-attached storage (DAS) and Storage Spaces — both classic and Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). The benefits (explained below) will provide significantly faster synthetic full backup creation and transformation performance, as well as reduce storage requirements and improve reliability. Even more importantly, this functionality improves Availability of backup storage by significantly reducing its load — which results in improved backup and restore performance and enables customers to do much more with virtual labs running off of backup storage. This is a big deal, so let’s explore more.

Fast cloning technology

One of the hardest parts of making a backup, and in particular a synthetic full backup, is the transformation associated with moving blocks between different backups files in the incremental chain. Version 9.5 leverages the fast cloning capability in ReFS API to create synthetic backups without moving the data blocks between files, and instead, references backup file blocks already present on the volume. This means all manipulations associated with synthetic full backups are limited to metadata updates and require no actual I/O operations on backed up data.

The video below shows how the new advanced ReFS integration works compared to synthetic full backup transformations on general-purpose storage:

Below is a screenshot of the synthetic full backup being made on a VM backup on ReFS which took only 58 seconds to process three incremental backups. Compare this to over 36 minutes for the same VM backed up to an NTFS volume!

Advanced ReFS integration coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Spaceless full backup technology

Now that synthetic full backup creation and transformation are incredibly fast and not taxing on backup storage performance, you’ll probably want to have more full backups on disk — such as periodic synthetic full backups of primary backup jobs and GFS retention of Backup Copy jobs that can keep a set number of weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual backups. In addition, I have some good news for you here too: The spaceless full backup technology brought by the advanced ReFS integration allows multiple full backups on disk to share the same data blocks. Obviously, this means a significant reduction in overall storage capacity requirements for the backup repository, providing storage efficiency rivaling that of some deduplication storage systems, but without the performance impact associated with using those (rehydration). And what’s best, all you need is a general purpose Windows Server 2016 with a bunch of internal or direct-attached disks — same as the backup server itself uses! How cool is that?

Check out this example of a repository with one synthetic full backup made with the ReFS integration:

Advanced ReFS integration coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Data integrity streams

While better performance and reduced disk space consumption is important, they are worth nothing without reliability, which is where the last advanced ReFS integration feature comes in to play. Version 9.5 will automatically enable ReFS data integrity streams on all backup files, which are used by background ReFS data integrity scanners to detect and notify you on silent data corruption. This is critical when it comes to ensuring a reliable forever-incremental data archival model for long-term retention. You can think of it as a storage level corruption guard on steroids because it will keep verifying your entire archive, and not just the latest restore point.

All of that is available on simple ReFS volumes — but there’s even more for those using Storage Spaces, where its proactive error-correction functionality will automatically and seamlessly fix corrupted backup file data blocks using a good mirror, or parity copy from another system, thus maintaining a healthy forever-incremental archive with the required level of redundancy. Below you can see a screenshot of the Data Integrity Streams catching a file that was not correctable:

Data Integrity Streams

As far as requirements go, they are rather simple: The backup repository must be installed on Windows Server 2016 (and most often — such as in the case of backup appliances — it will be the same server as the backup server). This allows the repository to leverage the ReFS API that enables integration features identified above for greater performance and capacity efficiencies with large-scale data sets, while ensuring data resiliency of Veeam backup data.

Do you agree that our advanced ReFS integration completely changes the game for Veeam users? Let us know in the comments!

Additional resources:

The post Advanced ReFS integration coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Advanced ReFS integration coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5